I have a couple books from Jenna Black in my library, but I haven’t had a chance to read them yet. When I learned she was starting a new YA Horror series, I jumped on the chance to find out more. Just look at the creepy-beautiful cover! Horror is right up my alley…a city that comes alive with magic—how could I resist?!
Author: Jenna Black
Genre: Young Adult Horror
Publisher: Tor Teen via NetGalley
Release date: April 2016
The night is the enemy, and the city of Philadelphia is its deadliest weapon.
Becket is an ordinary teenage girl, wrestling with the upheaval of her parents’ divorce. A studious high school senior, her biggest problems to date have been choosing which colleges to apply to, living up to her parents’ ambitious expectations for her, and fighting her secret crush on her best friend’s boyfriend. But that all changes on the night she tries to save an innocent life and everything goes horribly wrong.
Unbeknownst to her, Becket has been tricked into opening a door between worlds, allowing a dark magic into the mortal world. As the magic trickles in, the city begins to change at night. Strange creatures roam the streets, and inanimate objects come to life, all of them bloodthirsty and terrifying. The city returns to normal when the sun rises in the morning, and no one can capture the strange changes–such as potholes turning into toothy mouths and wires turning into strangling vines–on film, which prompts the government to declare that the city has been infected with some kind of madness and must be quarantined. Meanwhile, venturing out of one’s house at night has become a dangerous proposition, and the moment the sun sets, most of the citizens of the city shut themselves up in their houses and stay there even in the case of dire emergencies.
The magic is openly hostile to most mortals, but there are some individuals it seems to covet, trying to lure them out into the night. While Becket struggles to protect her friends and family from predatory creatures of the night, she is constantly tempted to shrug off all her responsibilities and join them. Joining the night world means being free of not just responsibility, but conscience, and it means no longer caring about the fate of others.
Becket is a loner, struggling through her senior year of school, when she began to notice odd things happening around her. It all started when she’d tried to help a stranger, and they vanished before her eyes. With one drop of blood, she’d accidently opened a portal between worlds and allowed dark magic to escape. Now, magic has infecting the city, turning it deadly. Anyone who ventures out at night is at risk of dying or worse…being turned into one of the creature of the night. In order to save the boy she’s falling in love with, Becket must decide what she is willing to sacrifice…or loose everything.
The book started off slowly, the mystery taking a long time to develop as we’re dragged step-by-step into Becket’s mundane life. When I read this book was horror, I was really excited, but Becket didn’t really work for me—she was just too young and naïve to carry the weight of the story to do it justice. While she did display a few sparks of courage, there was nothing daring or kick-ass about her to keep me interested. Once the creepy-crawlies of the night word came to life, I found my interest peaking. I loved the imagination, but just when it felt like we were getting somewhere, the tension vanished with Becket’s lack of courage. The city has been under siege for months, but Becket seemed to be a bystander in her own story, only taking action when forced and not even then. Major disappointment. When it looked like the book might turn around, the story ends abruptly in a big cliff-hanger. So, while I really enjoyed the unique horror ambiance, I’m not sure I care enough about Becket to read book two. *bummer* Wonderfully creep world! Too bad the characters failed to live up to the adventure…